- Coca-Cola HBC, RSA disappoint
- Russia-West tensions high after food import ban
- BoE holds rates, ECB expected to do same
techMARK 2,710.03 -0.18%
FTSE 100 6,597.37 -0.58%
FTSE 250 15,240.10 -0.15%
UK stocks finished the session at their intra-day lows almost as traders continued to anxiously watch developments between Ukraine and Russia.
Nato said that the significant increase of Russian troops near Ukraine over the last few days is of "great concern" amid fears that Moscow is readying to invade. Meanwhile, Russia has denied the allegations, saying that comments from Nato are misleading.
That came as both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep their respective monetary policy settings unchanged.
The FTSE 100 ended the day 0.58% lower at 6,597.37.
That was as expected. Nevertheless, and as ECB President Mario Draghi indicated, authorities are facing multiple and interconnected instances of geopolitical tension which to a certain extent clouds the economic outlook.
As for the Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) own musings at today's meeting, it seems likely that the debate was far more interesting than on other recent occasions. However, we will have to wait until at least the next Inflation Report to learn to just what extent the consensus in favour of staying put on rates until 2015 is fraying.
Meanwhile, and in response to the latest round of Western sanctions, the Kremlin imposed a ban on imports of agricultural goods from the US and European Union for up to one year.
In economic news on Thursday, German industrial production rose by just 0.3% in June after a revised 1.7% fall the previous month, though the rebound was much worse than the 1.2% rate of growth expected. The figures followed data on Wednesday showing an unexpected drop in German factory orders in June.
CCH disappoints with volume guidance
Aviva gained after delivering half-year improvements in its five key metrics, increasing cash flow, operating profits and new business, as well as cutting both costs and its combined operating ratio. However, insurance peer RSA declined after net written premiums fell 9% in the first half.
Bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC slumped after saying unfriendly consumer sentiment and foreign exchange
headwinds looked unlikely to improve during 2014 as it downgraded its volume expectations for the year as a whole.
RSA was also a heavy faller after net written premiums fell 9% in the first half. Pre-tax profits slumped from £250m last year to just £69m, as a result of £117m of restructuring costs.
Shares in energy group Drax slumped after UK courts said one of its power-generating units is not eligible for government subsidies.
Investment group Henderson dropped 6% after first-half results failed to meet the market's expectations. Assets under management fell nearly 6% over the second quarter as improvements in retail were offset by falls in the institutional business.
Miner Rio Tinto was on the rise after it hailed an "outstanding performance" in the first half as underlying earnings jumped 21% and cash flow generation increased 8%, with the miner topping its cash cost reduction target ahead of schedule.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Sage Group (SGE) 382.10p +3.08%
Aviva (AV.) 502.50p +2.61%
Royal Mail (RMG) 414.00p +2.53%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 237.70p +2.46%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 870.50p +2.23%
G4S (GFS) 254.70p +2.00%
Carnival (CCL) 2,177.00p +1.97%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,035.00p +1.67%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,050.00p +1.65%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 656.00p +1.39%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,302.00p -5.31%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,239.00p -3.43%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 430.50p -3.02%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,377.00p -2.75%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,528.50p -2.64%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 337.40p -2.51%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,993.00p -2.06%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,000.00p -1.96%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 806.50p -1.95%
IMI (IMI) 1,367.00p -1.94%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Victrex plc (VCT) 1,666.00p +4.71%
Elementis (ELM) 276.10p +4.43%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 2,793.00p +3.75%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 190.20p +3.65%
Cobham (COB) 295.70p +3.03%
Savills (SVS) 590.00p +2.70%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 266.20p +2.54%
Spectris (SXS) 1,978.00p +2.49%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 267.50p +2.49%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 176.00p +2.33%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Drax Group (DRX) 651.50p -8.24%
Henderson Group (HGG) 228.00p -5.59%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 186.00p -4.62%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 302.10p -4.10%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 177.00p -3.38%
Xaar (XAR) 552.00p -3.07%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 521.00p -2.89%
Polymetal International (POLY) 516.50p -2.82%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 970.00p -2.81%
Stock Spirits Group (STCK) 300.00p -2.76%